Samsung's latest flagship Galaxy S9 phone is designed to compete with high-end phones like the Google Pixel, iPhone X, and iPhone 8. Here's how it stacks up.
Antonio Villas-Boas: I've been using the Samsung Galaxy S9 for about a week now and here's what I think.
[The Samsung Galaxy S9: The Best And Worst Features]
I'm gonna start off with one of the best things that Samsung does and that's the screen on the Galaxy S9. Really nice, big, bright screen with really good contrast. And the lights and the darks are really just inky blacks. Colors really pop. Brighter parts really pop out against the black backgrounds. But the screens on the Galaxy S phones just tend to be really, really good all the time.
So another thing I love about this phone is just how good the camera is in low light situations. That largely has to do with Samsung's decision to go with this F 1.5 aperture. So that's a really, really wide aperture that lets in a lot of light so that it lets a lot of light hit the sensor. And basically, the more light hits the sensor the better picture it is.
The fingerprint sensor has been redesigned so that it's underneath the camera, not next to it like on the S8. This makes a lot more sense to have the fingerprint sensor underneath the camera. So really, big improvement there on how to unlock the phone.
Another difference between the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9 is stereo speakers. It's not like, it won't replace your Bluetooth speakers or other speakers, for music especially. But I'd say this is probably the best sounding smartphone there is right now.
Samsung did a good little trick here where they combined facial recognition with the iris recognition into something they call intelligent scan and when you pull up the phone and you press the little unlock button, the setup decides which system to use best, and maybe both at the same time and it works pretty quickly. I turn it on and it just snaps open and the phone unlocks and it's pretty quick. But it's still, the fingerprint sensor, is still like the fastest way to unlock this phone. But either way, whatever you choose, you'll be fine.
Don't forget, the Galaxy S9 has a headphone jack, but it is there where it is not in a lot of new phones these days.
So for the uninitiated, if you haven't heard of Bixby before, Bixby is Samsung's own virtual assistant. It's artificial intelligence, that kind of thing. So, Bixby is really slow. Still really slow, I'm sure she'll improve, or it will improve, whatever it is. And it'll get faster, but changing the settings on your phone is still a lot easier just when you do it yourself. Another thing I'm not entirely sure about is the Bixby button which is maps permanently to Bixby or you can turn it off, Either way. But it's there all the time and I press it by mistake all the time and I'm constantly interrupted in what I'm doing all the time 'cause I'm pressing it all the time. So, that's a thing I'm not really a fan of.
The moment Google releases a new operating system, a new version of Android, I feel like this phone's gonna become obsolete. This comes with Android 8.0 out of the books. In fact, with my train of thinking, it's already obsolete because there's Android 8.1 already available. So, this is running an old operating system. And honestly, you're not really missing that much with new Android updates. It's just this thing of completeness. If I want, If I'm running a Google Android phone, I want the latest from that, from Google.
Samsung also made a big fan fair about their new A-R Emoji. "R" Emoji, whatever you want to call it. Honestly, that's all the time I'm gonna give it 'cause it's a pointless useless feature. And I don't like it at all.
So, in conclusion, this is a very good smartphone. But that's what we always expect from Samsung these days. So it's really nothing that much new or crazy or whatever. So should you be upgrading from the Galaxy S8 to the Galaxy S9? The answer is no. You really don't need to spend a minimum of $720 for some pretty slight improvements. Maybe if you're always really annoyed with your S8 and how bad it is unlocking the phone. Other than that, you're fine with your S8.